In the past couple of years artist Shepard Fairey has become nationally known for his iconic “Hope” campaign image of Barack Obama and its resulting legal battle. Fairey emerged in the late 80s with his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” street art movement, and although his rogue ways have gotten him into some trouble, he has become one of the most in-demand print makers and graphic artists in the world. At the heart of Fairey’s art, though, has always been political activism and charity. Recent prints he’s created have been used to benefit the Human Rights Action Center and Clean Energy for America. He also recently teamed up with Lance Armstrong and donated works to the Livestrong Foundation, and even added art to a bike for Lance last year that just fetched $110,000 for charity.
His latest work will benefit the natural landscape of the South. Fairey was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and his parents are originally from Rock Hill. Looking to his past Fairey has created a new pice to benefit Rock Hill and the nearby Catawba River. He explains: “My parents grew up in Rock Hill, S.C., which is a beautiful town in a mostly rural part of upstate S.C. I worked with my Uncle Wade Fairey to create this art to benefit Historic Rock Hill preservation. The story of the Courtney Spider Lily art is that it is a rare flower thriving in the Courtney Island section of the Catawba river. The art is designed to promote water quality on the Catawba River which has been greatly affected by run off from urban development. There are many individuals and groups interested in seeing the Catawba remain a lovely river.”
The Spider Lily Print goes on sale today on Fairey’s website at a random time in a limited run of 450. As a modest collector of his art I can tell you it will not last long.